BDA urged to temporarily halt Tg Batu project to facilitate monsoon drain upgrade

Tiong gestures during a visit at the ongoing construction project at Tanjung Batu near the old Sing Kwong market.

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KUCHING, Feb 6: Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing urges the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) to temporarily halt the ongoing construction project at Tanjung Batu near the old Sing Kwong market as it could affect the upgrading of a nearby monsoon drain.

“We had a site visit this morning (yesterday morning) with officers from the BDA, Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), Public Works Department (JKR) and Land and Survey Department to check on the situation.

“In order to facilitate upgrades to the flood mitigation system and ensure the existing monsoon drain is not blocked, we have advised the developer to temporarily halt construction works until a new detailed plan for the area can be submitted and approved by the relevant authorities.

“I have subsequently requested BDA to also advise the developer to clear the surrounding area of discarded building materials and other rubbish. Ensuring the monsoon drain and flood mitigation system is clear of blockages is in the community’s interests and in line with Bintulu’s sustainable and viable development.

“BDA must also supervise the developer’s construction projects as well. Any project plans that had been erroneously approved previously, should be reviewed and given re-approval only if the proper plans are filed,” according to Tiong in a statement today.

He also highlighted that during meetings with the relevant departments a few months ago, he had requested for the related construction work to be halted momentarily until they were satisfied that the project will not reduce the effectiveness of the monsoon drainage and the flood mitigation system which is under construction.

“We are concerned that the drainage system will remain congested due to construction and flood nearby residential areas and disrupt the daily lives of people living and working here.

“BDA must require the relevant developer to revise the project’s plans properly and obtain the DID’s approval. The current project must also include dredging and widening the ditch. It is imperative that any developer should consult the relevant authorities before implementing any project to ensure that the construction plans are reviewed and approved by the BDA,” he added.

Tiong disclosed other agencies which visited the site with him yesterday morning would also hold a meeting on Feb 18 on this specific topic to discuss relevant issues.

Tiong, who is Bintulu MP, advised BDA to have comprehensive town planning to ensure more systematic development for Bintulu in the long-term.

“Only a long-term and comprehensive plan can help to foresee any future changes to the surrounding environment. Building plans should not be short-sighted and prioritise short-term benefits only. In carrying out their responsibilities to the public, BDA must resolve this matter immediately in the interests of maintaining Bintulu’s quality of life and infrastructure.

“I call on BDA to conduct a detailed and strict review of any construction plans before they are implemented and in doing so, maintain close communication with the contractors involved in order to minimise adverse impact on the people,” Tiong emphasised.

The Bintulu MP also hoped BDA would ensure that the consensus reached in any meeting with the contractors will be adhered to. — DayakDaily